"A man thinks strange things when he's out of his mind..."
Sitting here at my desk, watching the minute hand of the institutional-style clock on the wall move its slow way off the 12 that makes the hour 4 am, I consider my possible actions, if any, between now and when they let me leave at daybreak. The voices are louder, more insistent, each time I make my security rounds of the building. I am not safe here.
I thought I would be. I told you about the dead voices I heard at the fire-demolished mill complex. Then the security company transferred me to this housing for the elderly complex run by the Catholic Church here in downtown Providence, and I figured things would be OK. I was raised Catholic, I figured if there was one place I would be protected from the laughter and hatred of the dead children, it would be here. And at first I felt safe and at home. I had a scare from that yarn doll the old lady hung on her door at Christmas, but it never followed me and looked around corners at me like I was afraid it would do. Then last week I saw the old lady had taken it down. No harm done.
I felt uplifted. I talked with the residents and started to feel like I really got to know some of them over the next few days. I walked the hallways every two hours with no hesitation, past the yarn doll door without a backward glance, heard the old lady praying in that apartment, and smiled to myself at what a fool I had been. Not only was the doll not possessed and moving, but the resident who lived in the apartment was a devout Christian! I felt that I had also crossed over difficult waters and found peace...
Two hours later, I'm on patrol again. This time, I hear whispering from at least one apartment on
all eight floors of the building. I stand outside the doors and try to listen. I can only understand a handful of the words. And there's something else the matter. The voice behind the yarn doll lady's door doesn't sound so much like praying. I'm not sure what it sounds like. For one thing, it sounds like she's not alone anymore. It's not like in a movie. I'm scared. What does it sound like, in real life, when somebody talks to the devil?
I'm sitting at my desk in the lobby. I don't know what to do.